Friday, March 1

Thomas Tonatiuh Lopez Jr: Birth of a Water Protector

6:30 P.M. in Wilson Hall

Thomas Tonatiuh Lopez Jr., 26, will deliver the keynote address to begin the symposium. Thomas is the executive director of the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC), an organization born out of the Standing Rock Indigenous Uprising of 2016. IIYC aims to protect people and the elements and inspire the youth to become community leaders. He has previously delivered impassioned addresses at similar events, including 350VT Annual Convergence. He will deliver 45-minute remarks about his personal experience of resisting the extractive industries at Standing Rock and the national indigenous fight against oppression. This will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A.

Saturday, March 2

Intersections of Food and Environmental Justice

10 A.M. in The Orchard (Hillcrest 103)

Middlebury Professors Molly Anderson, Lana Povitz, Dan Suarez and HOPE food access coordinator Lily Bradburn will engage in a roundtable discussion with members of the greater Middlebury community on current food justice issues that directly affect us. Topics covered include questions of food insecurity and food sovereignty, migrant workers’ rights, and sustainable agriculture practices.

Jonathan Rosenthal: Reflections on How to Create Transformative Change

11:15 A.M. in The Orchard (Hillcrest 103)

Jonathan Rosenthal is a prominent advisor and leader in the fair trade and new economy movements. After co-founding Equal Exchange and Oké USA, he now works to help mission-driven organizations achieve their goals in his capacity as the principal of Just Works Consulting. Until 2018, Rosenthal served as the executive director of the New Economy Coalition. He will lead a discussion about the new economy and how best to create transformative change by altering our economic and political systems and recognizing the interconnectedness of all types of justice for collective liberation.

Inclusivity and Justice in the Outdoors

1:30 P.M. in Axinn 229

Jose Gonzalez, the founder of non-profit Latino Outdoors, an organization that aims to connect Latinx communities with outdoor experiences, will discuss what boundaries keep natural experiences inaccessible to large portions of Americans and how to combat the whiteness of environmentalism. Latino Outdoors NYC Program Coordinator Anahi Naranjo ‘17 will speak about the work of organizations like Latino Outdoors in changing conventional environmental narratives and Professor Kathryn Morse will add to this discussion on how these concerns manifest on Middlebury’s campus.

A Conversation on Conservation and Displacement

2:35 P.M. in Axinn 232

York University Professor Elizabeth Lunstrum and Monmouth University Dr. Veronica Davidov will be discussing neoliberal conservation and population displacement. They will show brief clips from related documentaries and discuss how environmental initiatives including protected areas and ecotourism impact human-nature relations and the displacement of communities.

Making Middlebury Environmentalism Inclusive

5 P.M. in The Orchard (Hillcrest 103)

After a full day of events for the Common Ground Symposium, we invite any students interested in making environmentalism on the Middlebury campus more inclusive and intersectional to come together for this student-led workshop. José González, the founder of Latino Outdoors, will help facilitate the conversation. We will also examine the current state of the Environmental Studies program, paying special attention to where the program excels and where there is room for growth in regards to these issues.

Expressions of Environmental Justice

8:00 P.M. in Crossroads Cafe

To conclude the  Common Ground Symposium, student artists and performers will present works in response to prompts surrounding themes of environmental justice. Art will include visual pieces as well as performances from dance groups and music groups on campus.